Category Archives: Pepetools

My Craftsy Class is Live! And my JCK Review.

Well, my Craftsy class actually went live last week while I was on my way to the JCK show in Las Vegas. And right now you can sign up for 50% off the regular price. Just click on this link: Making the Most of Your Hydraulic Press. This link is good until Monday. And not only that, but you can use the same link to access hundreds of other classes that are all 50% off right now too. So this is a great time to enroll in any others that you think you  might be interested in. I have signed up for a few candy making and other cooking classes that looked like fun also. Craftsy has done a great job with their class line up and offerings. You can check out my last post to see some of the great projects presented in this class.

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Click here for 50% off all Craftsy Classes through Monday 6/13/16


 

JCK!!!!! Oh Goodness!

What an amazing time I had at JCK. I was working with the guys at Otto Frei and Pepetools. I had such a fun time hanging out with the best tools in the industry. I really want to be a high end tool snob…. I just wish my budget agreed with me.

This show started out hectic and crazy and stayed that way the entire time. I also had the great fortune of meeting some great people while I was there.

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This is set up day at the Otto Frei booth. You could hardly get to the booth the first day due to all of the crates and boxes everywhere.  But it ended up looking absolutely great.

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The first night I stayed on the 26th floor of the Luxor hotel in Las Vegas. My room was on the west facing side of the building. It was SOOOOO hot. So the next night I switched rooms to the 8th floor on the north side of the building. It was much more comfortable. But it was fun to stay at the Luxor.

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These are probably my favorite people at the show. Andrew Berry and Anie from JoolTool. We had a lot of laughs and fun together when we weren’t too hard at work.

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This is where I worked my magic and demonstrated some of the Pepetools products we brought with us. By the end of the show, I had jumprings, copper discs and washers coming out my ears.  I think I am set on those supplies for a little while.

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This gives you a little tiny glimpse of how big the show was, but not really even. This is looking down the isle from my booth, there are two more isles behind me in this photo. Then they are probably 3 rows deep, at least. Then when you get to the end of the wall there at the very far right of the photo, it turns left and goes on at least twice as long as this photo or more. And that was just one floor. There were three. WOW! I didn’t make it very far away from my booth though.

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My lunch partner – Andrew Berry

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Bill Fretz was demonstrating in our booth.

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Mark Nelson from Rio Grande – A VERY talented jeweler and teacher.

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Andrew Berry, Kate wold and myself.

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The owner of Bonny Doon – Phil Poirier

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Dinner after the last night of the JCK show. Just a handful of the great team we had working in the Otto Frei booth.

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Some more of the great Otto Frei team

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I showed amazing restraint and came home with just two small Fretz hammers. My bank account likes me very much.

New Video: Anneal or Not? And Another Round Ring Mandrel Giveaway

After the my last Tool Time Tuesday Video – 9pc Fancy Shaped Disc Cutter, several people contacted me asking if they should anneal their metal before using a disc cutter. There are many times when annealing your metal is a good thing, like when you want to manipulate or form the metal, impart textures with embossing or roll printing, shape the metal with formers on the hydraulic press, or around a bracelet mandrel, etc. But when it comes to using disc cutters or pancake dies, you really want your metal to be hard. It will help in aiding the shearing action as the metal will be more rigid and easier to cut without leaving unsightly burrs that need to be filed.

Video Link: https://youtu.be/8Pb7KP1t4i8


Giveaway

As promised, here is the giveaway I told you about on Tuesday. This is for the
Pepetools Ultra Precision Calibrated Aluminum Ring Mandrel. This mandrel is round, not square. Even if you have entered the other giveaways, you are still eligible to enter this one. So, what are you waiting for? Click on the link below.

Pepetools Ultra Precision Aluminum Ring Mandrel

Just click on this link to enter for your chance to win.

Good Luck.

Tool Time Tuesday – Multi-Shaped Disc Cutter and Another Giveaway

It is Tuesday and that means it must be time for another Tool Time Tuesday Post. Today I am reviewing a 9-piece multi-shaped disc cutter.

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This disc cutter features 9 shapes, each about 12 mm in size. I didn’t know if I would like this one because it has a fixed base, and I typically don’t care for those as I find that my metal bounces when trying to cut it using a hammer. That will probably be the case for this cutter if I use thicker metal, but as long as the metal was thinner, I didn’t have a problem.  Just check out the video to see it in action and my review.

Video Link: https://youtu.be/B3cqVM1FZt0

I will carry these, but only as a special order item as they are quite pricey to carry in my inventory. The cost is $240.00US plus shipping.


 

Another Giveaway

I have four more Square Aluminum Ring Mandrels by Pepetools to give away. And I have four of the Round Aluminum Ring Mandrels by Pepetools.

People have asked my thoughts about the aluminum mandrels. I think they are wonderful for wire wrapping, light shaping and sizing and great for finding out the size of an existing ring. When they first came out, I asked on several jewelry forums why people would want to use an aluminum mandrel. There were a couple of people that said that they would actually do quite a bit of hammering on theirs when they traveled. It is much lighter and more portable. A few answered that they would have it at the front counter for accurate sizing of customer rings. Wire wrapping rings was also a really good purpose. I have quite a few ring mandrels and 90% of them are steel, so I reserve the aluminum for lighter working situations as those stated above.

I do have steel mandrels if you prefer to purchase a steel mandrel. They are $27.00 plus shipping. They are shipped via UPS, so shipping is generally between $8 and $12 depending on where you live.

So how do you enter the giveaway? Well, I am running it through Amazon again. So  just follow this link: https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/cfc0fe41029352a5 and follow the directions. Again, I don’t receive any of your information and Amazon fulfills the order. You must be a resident in the US to be eligible, sorry. I will try to do another giveaway soon for my international readers.

I will do another giveaway for the remaining Round mandrels on Thursday at 6:00 pm Mountain Time. Be sure to subscribe to my blog so you won’t miss it when it goes live. Just enter your email up there on the right where it says “Subscribe To Blog Via Email.” Good luck!

Ring Mandrel Giveaway – ENTER NOW

Well, it is 6:00pm here in Utah right now and that means that the giveaway is now live at Amazon. There are four Square Aluminum Pepetools Ring Mandrels up for grabs. Just follow the link, log into Amazon and follow the directions to see if you are the winner. I will only be notified when the giveaway is completed. So if you win, I would love to hear from you.

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Just a reminder, I will not receive any of your information. Amazon will fulfill the orders. These will go FAST.

Don’t miss any of my blog posts, just subscribe over there on the right hand side. It is easy to do and all of my blog posts will be delivered right to your email. There are a lot of great tool reviews and videos coming up. I will also be announcing my traveling teaching schedule for 2016 within the next week.

Good luck.

A Giveaway and A Good Cause

Hey Everyone, Two posts in one week. I know, it is a miracle. I am trying to get back into the flow of things now that the inside remodel is done. I still need to put my studio back together, but it is coming.

Into Freedom

A couple of weeks ago I was contacted by an organization called Into Freedom about some of the videos I have done using t he Pepetools Superior Ring bending tool. She explained to me that they recuse girls and women from human trafficking situations and help to rehabilitate them, give them a trade skills and help to work through the trauma they have endured. She mentioned that they have a few jewelry tools and was wondering if adding the ring bender would be something the girls would be able to use. We discussed various projects and such. I was totally impressed that she was not asking for donations, but rather advice on how to teach the girls and women to use it. I was so touched by what they are doing, talk about true angels on Earth. I actually contacted Pepetools and they are helping me to put together a nice box of tools for the girls to use. In addition, I ordered hammers, pliers, wire cutters and a few other tools to send them. If anyone would like to help contribute to cover the expense of this, it would be wonderful and greatly appreciated. I have had a few friends that have gone through their tools and put together a box of things that they no longer use, or had duplicates of. I have also had some friends send generous monetary donations (all of which are tax-deductible.) If you would like to donate, please just let me know. You can also make a monetary donation directly to their site at: http://www.intofreedom.org/donate 

Giveaway and Exciting News

Speaking of Pepetools I am so excited to announce that I am now officially a Pepetools Distributor. So that means you can now purchase Pepetools equipment from me. I don’t have them listed on my site yet, but if you have something you have been considering, just let me know and we will work something out.

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To celebrate, I am hosting a giveaway with four Aluminum Square Ring Mandrels. These are a lot of fun as it allows you to add new dimensions to your ring making. Check out the video I did a while back when they first came out. While they aren’t ideal for forging on, they are wonderful for light shaping and sizing.

Video link: https://youtu.be/vs8_QsF0lJU

So how do you win one of the four ring mandrels? Well, just come back tonight at 6:00 (MDT) to www.MelissaMuir.com/blog for the link that will be posted at that time. The giveaway is done through Amazon Giveaways. You will follow the link posted here tonight and enter through Amazon. I will not receive any of your personal information. Amazon will fulfill the orders, so I never receive your address or anything.

Don’t miss the announcement that the giveaway has gone live. Subscribe to my blog and have the announcement sent directly to your email address. Just enter your email in the subscribe box over there on the right.

How do you do everything you do?

Hello everyone. I know, it has been a very long time since I last posted. I will address that in this post. We have had a rather interesting time over the past month or so. School is finally out for the girls and we are starting to get our summer routine in order, which is anything but routine so far.  If you are friends with me on Facebook, then you will already have a sense of why I am so behind on Tool Time Tuesday videos, blog posts and new jewelry. It has been pretty crazy to say the least. As I post different projects I am working on, I often hear, “How do you do everything you do?” Well, as you have already seen, there are too many balls to juggle and some things get dropped, like my blog and videos.

So what has been happening at my house the past few weeks? Let’s take a look.

First, the girls had decided they wanted a play set out in the back yard. We found a few that we liked, but they were so expensive that we decided we would keep looking. In the meantime they found one they really liked, but again it was a bit out of our budget. So the girls decided they would help come up with the rest. They have a goal of $500 and have already made $200. They put their heads together and came up with some ways to help earn money. Kate has decided to make and sell jewelry. I have some wonderful friends that have also pitched in to make this happen by sending leather, beads, findings and such for them to use. Kate’s little business is booming and she is accepting custom order requests.

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We didn’t want them to have to wait all summer without playing on their new play set, so we purchased it and have started the water treating of it. OH MY! What a chore. we still have one more box to open and inventory.

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Well, just as we got started on that, we received some very much needed rain. I tried to enjoy it and love it. And I did….. until we started to get flooded.

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Riley’s bedroom flooded. As we tore into things, we found quite a bit of mold. *sigh* So we are in the process of tearing out her closet and part of the wall in her room. We will also be tearing out the bathroom on the other side of her closet as we are pretty certain there has been water issues there as well. So I started working on getting contractors to come in and give me bids.

In the meantime, I continued to get the flowerbeds ready to finally get our mulch. We have wanted to do it since we moved in two years ago and this year we could finally afford it. YAY!

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Then, we got hit with another heavy rainstorm. We ran from one end of the house to the other checking on things as the downspouts and drains were overwhelmed with the heavy rains. The placed that had flooded before, flooded again. And this time, it claimed a new victim….. my studio. *sob* I love that all of my tools  can be stacked on these little carts. They are easy to move.

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However, there was a bit of damage and the floor had to come out. It is a laminate floor. The water flowed down the walls, under the plastic and foam where you could hear it squish as you walked. We drilled a hole to see how bad it was. Let’s just say, we actually had some fun making it squirt up through the holes. So out came the floor. Next, I will be moving all of the equipment and taking down my benches so we can tear into the walls. *cry* I now have a traveling dehumidifier. We swap it between the studio and Riley’s bedroom. It might be a while before I can get back to my videos and jewelry. BOO!

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To let my head rest from some of this and just get a change of scenery we took advantage of a really nice day and took a mini hike. I picked a really mild one with instant gratification  – a waterfall at the end. I wanted to test out my foot to see if it has healed enough to do more strenuous activities…. it hasn’t. BUMMER! But we enjoyed the morning all the same.

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I have very exciting news. Even with all of these set back. I have finally finished the biggest phase of my book. A friend is working on the layout right now and I have a small group of people helping me with the editing. I am so excited, even if I am really behind schedule. It is getting so close now. This is what my bench top looks like at the moment. All my pieces laid out for photographing and getting ready to list some for sale so I can raise the funds needed for publishing costs and a studio remodel….. that was never in the plans.

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Yesterday I received a new tool. A mini guillotine shear from Pepetools. It is so stinking cute. It has a 4″ cutting edge, so it really is small. In fact, with the exception of the handle, it comes fully assembled and weighs very little. I need to figure out how and where to mount it (as I will be taking down my benches here soon) and then I will be doing a video review on it. I can’t wait to give it a try. There are times that I would have liked having a smaller shear near my presses and I think that is where it is going to go.

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So now you know how I do everything I do….. a lot of things get dropped. I think I am giving up on trying to get everything together and being on top of things. Because even when I do get in that mode, other things happen and it all goes out the window anyway. Whether is it someone coming into town that you need to get together with, parents or kids with medical appointments, floods, unexpected construction work, etc.

I am just so grateful that we are in the situation we are where we are able to handle the hurdles that have been placed before us. I have learned that just because there is a schedule, sometimes you just have to release control and go with the flow. I am also trying to get my head wrapped around the fact that I will never be able to move and will have to die in this house because we will never get our money out of this one. LOL. Oh well, it is a great house with an amazing view and great studio. How can I complain about that?

New Ring Mandrels from Pepetools

As you have seen, I have had the fun pleasure of working with Pepetools over the past year. This is very fun for me as I am often the first one to get to play with some of their new tools that they develop. Sometimes I even get to be a part of testing it out and helping to make a tool better. A while back I asked if they were going to make square ring mandrels. I don’t know if I had anything to do with it or not, but they finally came out with a  square ring mandrel. I am so excited.

In addition, they also came out with some improvements to their existing ring mandrels and added a couple in aluminum. I ventured onto a few of my jewelry boards and asked why people would need an aluminum mandrel, because it is certainly something that isn’t very useful in my studio. I have seen a lot of people purchase them and try to use them in the same way as a steel mandrel. I can understand using them with wire wrapped rings as you won’t need to forge on them and such. The consensus was along the lines of what I was thinking. The aluminum is meant for very light work and mainly for sizing a ring in settings such as a jewelers shop at the front counter. However, there were a few jewelers that said that they would take an aluminum mandrel when they traveled to do some light resizing. They preferred the lighter weight when traveling.

People ask me all the time why I don’t sell ring mandrels. I am a vendor for a couple of suppliers and they all carry ring mandrels. But I will say, this is one area where I am kind of a snob. I will only use Pepetools ring mandrels. And this is because all of the mandrels I have found that aren’t Pepetools, have deep grooves for the sizing marks. That is just dumb. The rings get caught into them, and when you hammer, it is really easy to hit in just the wrong spot and then you have a mark on the inside of your ring that now has to be filed, sanded and repolished. I do not have the buying power required by Pepetools to carry their products, so I am not able to sell their tools. In fact, I am not paid by Pepetools, other than I do get to keep the tools I test out and review. So my opinions are true and honest and not based on a monetary reward. However, if they were to pay me, I wouldn’t mind that either. LOL.

I made a short video introducing the new ring mandrels. I will also be doing some new projects with the square ring mandrel. The sizing and making of square ring shanks is a bit different than round shanks. I will be experimenting and will try to create a ring shank sizing chart, similar to those for round shanks, but it will take a while and a lot of experimenting. Anyone want to come over and play in the studio with me?